RFID Key fobs often also called RFID key tags, smart keys, RF keychain fobs, RFID pendants, etc., and are contactless RFID transponders with a radio-frequency chip and antenna. The chips are divided into the frequency bands in which they operate: LF (Low Frequency at 125 kHz), HF (High Frequency at 13.56 MHz), and UHF (Ultra High Frequency at 860~960 MHz). The individual chips then differ in the amount of memory, read distance, supported protocols, additional protection, or other functionalities.
The RFID chips we use the most are:
• 13.56 MHz chips: Mifare Classic®, Mifare DESFire®, NTAG, ICODE®, Mifare Ultralight, Fudan F08, etc.
• 125 kHz chips: EM4200, EM4102, EM4100, TK4100, T5577, EM4550, etc.
• UHF chips: Alien Higgs-3, etc.
When selecting the best chip, the client should consider the following factors:
• the supported protocols of the existing equipment
• the amount of memory
• reading distance
• additional security features
• and other functionalities if needed.
RFID key fobs can contain also NFC chips which are a subset of 13.56 MHz RFID chips and are working accordingly to NFC protocols. The NFC chips we use the most for NFC key fobs are NTAG213, NTAG216, Mifare DESFire® EV2 (NFC protocol ISO/IEC 14443 A and B) and the ICODE® SLIX chip, which supports the protocol ISO/IEC 15693.
We can combine two chips with different frequency into a single key fob and produce dual frequency RFID key fobs.
Some of our dual frequency key fobs contain the combination of the chips:
• 125 kHz EM4200 + Mifare Classic® 1k
• 125 kHz TK4100 + NTAG213
• 125 kHz TK4100 + 13.56 MHz F08
Other combinations are available by request.
RFID Key fobs with standard housing
Key fobs with standard housing contain a chip and antenna inside a pre-manufactured housing. There are more than 30 different housings available, but for products in stock we selected the most common tear shape ABS housing measuring 40 x 32 x 4.5 mm. We also offer the key fobs in seven colors (blue, gray, black, green, red, orange, and yellow).
We have plenty of different RFID key fob variations in stock, and you are welcome to check them here: https://rfidspecialist.eu/store.html#p=223
The housing does not affect the operation of RFID pendants, unless it’s small. Smaller housings have very limited space for the chip and antenna. If the antenna is smaller than 20 mm, then the reading distance of such key fobs is affected and is smaller, or the chips cannot be read at all. If the housing dimensions are similar, then the housing does not affect the operation of RFID key fobs, and it is more an aesthetic choice or from a practical point of view.
The standard housing key fobs can be printed with UV printing technology or can be laser engraved. We can print a color logo, serial number, or the UID number of the chip. For smaller quantities, we usually use UV printing technology, for larger orders of printed key fobs we use pad printing, laser engraving, or other technologies.
Printed RFID key fobs with offset printing technology
The second kind of key fob housing is made of die-cut plastic, and these key fobs are produced the same way as die-cut plastic RFID tags or cards. These kinds of key fobs are made from PVC and are printed with color logos or backgrounds. They can also contain variable data like serial numbers, chip ID numbers, etc. For a color print, we usually use offset digital printing with CMYK colors and combine it with silk screen printing when there is a need for Pantone colors or metallic effects (golden colors, silver, glitter, etc.).
The printing is done during a production process with digital printing in CMYK colors. After the printing is done, we heat-treat the printed layers, the core layer containing RFID transponders and protective layers into a sheet. In the next step, we print or laser engrave variable data like QR codes, barcodes, serial numbers, etc. and we cut out the key fobs to their final size and shape. In the end, we do a thorough quality check and they are ready to ship.
Domed RFID key fobs
Printed RFID key fobs can be domed with a polyurethane resin also known as ‘epoxy material.’ The dome provides a hard-wearing, scratch-resistant coating to protect the printed logos and serial number, and to display them clearly. They are waterproof and suitable for use in harsh conditions. Domed RFID key fobs look very fancy and professional.
We use many molds and custom-made key fobs can be in many different shapes (round, rectangular, oval). They can contain a 3–5 mm hole or they can have a smaller hole and a tiny elastic band to put them on the keys.
Domed NFC key fobs with generic NFC artwork are available in our web shop:
Serialization with the chip ID code
When a client asks for RFID key fobs with a printed chip ID code, we take extra care that we print the code in the proper format. Most RFID chips contain a preprogramed serial number which is usually used as an identifier in many applications. The chip ID code is usually 4-7 bytes long and it can be read in more than 50 different ways. It can be read in decimal or hexadecimal format, the sequence of read bytes can be from MSB (most significant byte) to LSB (less significant byte) or vice versa, and even the single bits can be read in multiple ways.
For 125 kHz chips, the usual reading format is 10-digit decimal number (8H-> 10D conversion), some MIFARE® chip readers read 8-digit Hexadecimal (8 HEX) by default, but we saw many applications which use the 8 HEX reverse byte format as well. NFC devices like mobile phones and tablets read the ID code in the 14 HEX Reverse byte format.
Premium-looking RFID key fobs in imitation leather
Premium-looking RFID key fobs in leather imitation are another kind of RFID key fob and are made for clients that demand higher quality and professional-looking key fobs. The upper part of a key fob is very robust and made from metal. The lower part is made from softer leather-imitation material and it contains a RFID or NFC transponder.
Premium-looking key fobs are used for opening office or home doors, time attendance, charging electric vehicles, and other RFID applications.
In our web shop, you can buy black leather imitation key fobs with different chips:
Other colors, chip variations, and customization are available upon request.
If you need larger quantities send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +38641 884 124 and we will be happy to help you.
If you are an integrator or reseller, we offer special discounts.